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New Year, New Trails

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Dec 30, 2015 02:10 PM |

Whether you're hiking for the first time or tackling a tough trail, we have some tips to get motivated for 2016.

Happy New Year!

2016 is here, and with the new year comes new possibilities, new trails to hike, and of course, new goals. Hiking goals come in many shapes and sizes, with some hikers focusing on getting out as often as they can, and others making an effort to get out just once. Some want to gain tons of elevation and others want to tack on the miles. No matter how you approach 2016, hiking is a fantastic way to get outside, get get some exercise, and get motivated.

Starting out

If you're new to hiking, easing into things is a good way to get started.

  • Use our hiking guide to search for hikes that are lower in mileage and have less elevation gain. See if you enjoy hiking easier trails before tackling the big stuff. This is also a great way to find a good trail if you're recovering from an injury.
  • If you find some hikes to try out, save them to My Backpack, which acts like your own personal organizer here on the WTA site. Save hikes, leave trip reports, upload photos and more!
  • Before you head out, take a look at our Hiking 101 guide, which goes over what passes or permits you'll need, how to choose the perfect hike, and what gear you'll want to bring.

Hiking Guide
Sort hikes in the Hiking Guide by mileage and elevation gain to find the right trail for you.

Explore somewhere new

Washington has a huge range of trails and areas to discover. Whether you like hiking in old growth forests, on the beach, or along craggy ridges, there's a hike out there for you. Explore the state at a glance with our Hike Finder Map to get info on regions you haven't been to before. If you're looking to incorporate some food and lodging into your travels, check out our Northwest Weekend road trip ideas for inspiration.

Horseshoe Basin, Photo by Mike Warren
Take a hike on a new trail in 2016! Photo from Horseshoe Basin by Mike Warren.

Putting on the miles

If big miles and long hikes are on your agenda for 2016, take a look at these resources:

Family fun

Looking to spend some quality time with the family this year? Hiking is a great way to get out as a group!

Men hiking with infants
Bring the whole family along for a fun day outdoors. Photos by Serina Chea (left) and Rose Lavoie (right)

Gaining elevation

Steep trails and high peaks can be exhilarating to climb, or miserable if you're not in shape for them. If you have an elevation goal for 2016, here are some tips for getting in shape:

  • Do some off-season conditioning using stairs or box steps.
  • Use lower elevation trails as a training ground when snow is higher up. If the closest trails only offer 1,000 feet of elevation gain, consider doing them a couple times back to back to simulate a bigger climb.
  • Check out our list of conditioning hikes for getting started in spring.

However you enjoy hiking, we wish you the best in 2016, and hope to see you on trail!